While I cannot definitively prove it to be true, the recent push by the state of Georgia to “reopen” seems to have little to do with principle and all to do with money, as Georgia has a long history of being a state that places a disproportionate value on earning money even to the detriment of other concerns. I suspected that in the mind of the state, getting people “back to work” was a way to minimize paying state monies through unemployment using a legal justification as the excuse.
This concept was just more directly spoken by the state of Iowa, which according to a report from Business Insider has said that people need to go back to work lest they lose unemployment benefits.
Iowa Workforce Development, a state agency that provides employment services for individual workers, said an employee’s refusal return to work out of fear would be considered a “voluntary quit” — which would mean they could no longer receive unemployment benefits. The announcement applies to workers across the state.
Ryan West, the deputy director of Iowa Workforce Development, told Radio Iowa that there were some exceptions, such as workers diagnosed with COVID-19.
The Iowa Workforce Development website prompts employers to fill out what it calls a Job Offer Decline Form for employees who refuse to return to work. The governor has said that opting not to go back to work could disqualify employees from future unemployment benefits.
Business Insider’s Andy Kiersz reported that 232,913 Iowans filed for unemployment between March 15 and April 18, which is 13.5% of the state’s labor force.
Last week, seven epidemiology and biostatistics professors from the University of Iowa advised the governor not to loosen social-distancing restrictions, KWWL reported. They wrote a research paper for the governor after they were commissioned by the Iowa Department of Public Health.
“We observe a huge range of possible outcomes, from relatively low fatalities to catastrophic loss of life,” the paper said.
The scientists said there was still “considerable uncertainty” over how many deaths the state may eventually have; the projections range from 150 to over 10,000 deaths.
“We have found evidence of a slowdown in infection and mortality rates due to social distancing policies, but not that a peak has been reached,” the paper said. The professors said that did not mean measures should be eased: “Therefore, prevention measures should remain in place. Without such measures being continued, a second wave of infections is likely.” (source)
As noted in the story, the low number of deaths seems to be related to social distancing.
This virus is very dangerous. It is highly contagious. Certain strains are not harmful. Other strains kill people, and there are no clear patterns of data as to what is where.
Iowa makes it very clear that there is a connection between losing unemployment- even if safety matters are at hand as supported by the Federal government -and going back to work during a pandemic.
What reason other could there be that the state wants to face people back to work in a pandemic than that they are more concerned about money than human life?
If one wants a look to see what one’s “leaders” in government think of him, this is it right here.
Your life does not matter. You are a tax slave for the government and those in power who control the government. That is what is going through the minds of many. Health? A secondary concern. Death? Maybe the common man’s problem, but not those in power.
The state of Iowa’s actions may risk a lawsuit here, especially if the infection rates increase because of the “reopening”. The same applies to the state of Georgia as well.
Right now, what people need to do is not to force a “reopening”, but to continue the sanitation and social procedures that so far have seemed to work in controlling the spread of the virus. Business can wait, as health is always more important. But at the same time, do not forget about these actions by state governments, because the contempt of public safety and the prioritization of business and profit for another over the health of the public is what many hope the people do not come to realize is what many actually think.